Are You Ready? We're Almost There!
The time is now to repent as the signs of the times are indicating that Jesus is on his way back to earth. Here are a few clues he gave regarding his return as found in MATTHEW 24:1-31 (KJV):
1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily (truly) I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
This occurred about some 40 years after Jesus said this in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem literally physically tearing down the Jewish temple stone by stone as some of them were of an extreme size, according to the period historian Josephus tells us.
3-5 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
This has been accomplished during the centuries since Jesus spoke these words. Many wolves in sheep’s clothing have come announcing that Jesus was the Christ (the anointed one) but, as part of their message, they have deceived many by preaching a watered down Gospel, avoiding the truth of teaching what Jesus taught his very own disciples. The result has been the creation of a powerless religion, rather than the development of a meaningful Godly relationship. Many now think that simply acknowledging Jesus will save them but they will be proven wrong, if they are not also found living for him and experiencing real change in their lives.
6-8 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Yes, we all know throughout human history that there have been wars, rumours of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes. However, the key to understanding these signs is found in verse 8, as these are the beginning of sorrows, or better translated from the original Greek writing as labor pains. As a woman endures labor pains to bring forth her child, they become more frequent and more intense just prior to the actual birth. This has been the case of with these events throughout the last two thousand years.
Research these links and see for yourself.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
All of the disciples except for John were martyred (murdered) for their belief and stand for Jesus. Even John was subjected to tremendous abuse and suffering as have the Jewish people throughout history (i.e. the Roman persecution, the German Holocaust etc…). Christians (which means “Christ Like”) have also been persecuted since the times of Jesus with the most recent push of beheadings by ISIS.
10-12 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Sounds like the current circumstances of our society, doesn’t it with vast amounts of political corruption, business fraud and skyrocketing crime and murder rates. Not to mention scamming Tele-Evangelists. Need I go further?
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
How are YOU enduring? In the original Greek writing this implies staying under Jesus’ authority. Those who actually do what he said we should do, shall be saved, which must mean that those who don’t will be lost.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Out of the approximately 196 nations in our world, there are none that have not been touched with the Gospel.
15-21 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Note that this is the only sign that hasn’t occurred yet but it is on the horizon. The “abomination of desolation” has to do the desecration of the Jewish temple, but there hasn’t been one since it was torn down stone by stone in 70AD. Therefore, in order for this to occur, one has to be built. Several groups are calling for the third temple to be built (i.e. the Temple Mount Faithful, the Temple Institute etc…), and once a peace accord is struck between Israel and the Palestinians over Jerusalem, one will most likely be built, with animal sacrifices resuming. Then the Anti-Christ will cause the sacrifices to stop by defiling the temple and proclaiming himself to be God. When this happens everybody ought to run! Here are a couple of links to check out: http://templemountfaithful.org/objectives.php
22-28 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
Thank God our days have been shortened. Ever since the Indonesian Tsunami of 2004 the world has been spinning about 2.8 microseconds faster, meaning the length of our day was shortened. Also, after the 2014 Chile earthquake, the earth is spinning another 1.26 microseconds faster, again shortening our day. Not to mention perhaps the other quakes and earth rumblings that have affected our world since the time that Jesus uttered these fateful words. Our days have definitely been shortened as He predicted.
False Christs have been spotted for hundreds of years now. Here’s a list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_messiah_claimants. The important thing to remember is that none of them to come are the true Christ, unless he arrives in the fashion as Jesus described in this scripture passage:
29-31 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
This is what we have yet to look forward to. In fact we’ve already started to see some indications of the heavens being shaken as we’ve witnessed incredible meteor showers as recently as August 2015. So how much further off can all of this be – the answer is that we are on the brink – there is not much time left before Jesus returns!
This time when he comes, it will be as a judge not as a Savior. So are YOU ready? This is a question to both the believer and unbeliever.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV)
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1-Peter 4:17 KJV)
Here is a very powerful parable to illustrate the point as given by Jesus in Matthew 25:1-13 KJV:
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”
Does the kingdom of heaven represents the rule of God in our lives or is it the actual coming physical kingdom of God on earth? I believe that it represents both. The word of God has numerous dimensions and as such would have applied to those before us who have passed on into eternity. Therefore it would have provided meaning and encouragement when they read it. However, I believe it is also relevant to us today in the sense that we are closer than ever to the anticipated physical coming of the Lord.
Note that the story is about virgins who are pure and clean not those who have defiled themselves or are involved in sin. In other words, this is a story about those who believe in and live for God. They all started from the same place and belief; like the majority of today’s Christians do; that God created this world and sent his only begotten Son into it to reconcile it to himself via his sacrifice at the cross of Calvary.
All the virgins had lamps or the capacity to carry with them something that was vital and important to this story because the remainder of the story revolves around what was either contained within the lamp or what was missing from it. Hence the lamp is essential but the good news is for all believers, they already have the capacity built within. The story doesn’t mention that any of the virgins were not equipped with a lamp, only that some had it full and some had it empty.
Lamps represent the spiritual void in our lives – the God spot as it were. It is the equipment given to every individual. It might also represent faith as … to everyone is given THE measure of faith (Romans 12:3 KJV). How is the lamp filled? By pouring into it just as God pours his spirit into us.
Obviously, oil is what was important to have within the lamp, since when lit, it would provide the illumination to be able to see within the dark. Oil though was something that had to be added to the lamp and maintained within it. In other words, it could be fully consumed and run out. So, periodically more had to be added to the lamp in order to keep it full and hence in order to keep the flame lit. Notice that the oil was a commodity and could be bought and sold as the virgins who were without it were encouraged to go and obtain some for themselves from those who traded in this commodity.
What does it all mean to us today? Well, oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and the anointing (i.e. like when Saul and David were anointed as kings of Israel). Fire is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit and the Power of God operating in our lives (read about the Day of Pentecost when tongues of fire came to rest upon the Apostles in Acts Chapter 2).
Observe that it was at the darkest hour of midnight that the cry rang out that the Bridegroom was on his way and it was then that it was discovered that some of the virgins had run out of oil in their lamps. While they were away attempting to purchase some fresh oil, they missed his coming and by the time they returned, the party had started without them and they were refused entry.
This represents the end times when God is even wondering if He will find faith upon his return (Luke 18:8). The darkness represents sin and the world. The power of God has been denied and even quenched, even though we’ve been instructed to quench not the Spirit (1-Thessalonians 5:19).
The celebration was for a marriage or the uniting of the bride with the bridegroom and during the celebration, the rift raft was kept outside the door because it was shut and obviously guarded and well protected to keep the unknown out. (Read the marriage story about the guest dressed without a wedding garment and what happened to him. He was thrown out of the celebration because he hadn’t arrived as expected. Matthew Chapter 22.)
Being known was key and in the dark the only way to be known or recognizable was to have light because without it, there was no evidence to validate they were who they said they were. Actions speak louder than words in this case and in fact may include both the action and the word in order to be known. Also, being known here carries the connotation of implying an intimacy that can only be experienced in deep communion and personal revelation between two parties, not between one party and a crowd.
Lastly see the little “th” at the end of the word cometh. This little “th” carries the meaning of continuance. In other words when said this way, the Son of man cometh, it means that He continuously comes. Comes where? The answer is to the human heart in the truest sense of the word. Hence, there is a deep spiritual aspect to this story but where ever there is a spirit there eventually is the interaction of the physical as well, hence this story is not only allegory but also prophetic as Jesus will indeed come physically again and we who believe in him need to be ready for it even though we don’t know the exact timing of the event.
Apparently the only way we will be ready is to have the Holy Spirit burning within us. But would God just tell us to be filled with his spirit and give no physical indication when that has happened? As previously stated the physical and spiritual are both intertwined. With knowing that God is not the author of confusion as we read in 1-Corinthians 14:33, then we know the answer is a loud reverberating NO. If God told us to be filled with his spirit but then didn’t show us or tell us how or what would happen to show that we are filled, it would lead to confusion and as just stated, this is not God’s mode of operation. Therefore, we can rest assure that not only does he tell us to be filled with his spirit but he also gives examples of what to expect.
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8 KJV)
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4 KJV)
There it is! It’s that simple – so now the question to ask yourself is: Am I Ready? Have I not only been filled with God’s Spirit without question, as evidenced by the same thing that happened to the disciples, but am I on fire for God being a living witness in both word and deed?
If so, Praise God and keep on burning! If not, what are you waiting for? The time is short!
Need more understanding? Read the first three chapters of Genesis, John and Acts to see what God gave man at the beginning from above, how he lost it, how God promised to give it back, and when he actually returned it.
Acts Chapters 8, 10 & 19
Joel Chapter 2
1-Corninthians Chapters 13 & 14
James Chapter 3